Colorado ski opening-day update: Snowmaking in Summit County stalled, storm in forecast
Ryan Summerlin October 15, 2013
Officials at Arapahoe Basin and Loveland ski areas reported that higher temperatures have slowed snowmaking slightly over the last few days. But a cold spell and potential storm in this weekend’s forecast could have snowmaking crews charging full steam ahead into next week.
“We’re excited about the cold front this weekend,” Loveland’s marketing director John Sellars said. “We’ll have to wait and see what this storm brings before we can make a decision on opening day.”
Opensnow.com’s Joel Gratz reported falling temperatures and a weather front moving through this weekend. Early predictions are calling for more snow in the San Juan Mountains, with other areas of Colorado catching up through the weekend.
Arapahoe Basin may be gaining a slight edge in the countdown to opening day, as Monday night was the first night the resort was unable to make snow.
Sellers reported Loveland had decided to shut down snowmaking operations on Sunday. At press time neither ski area could confirm whether they would be able to make snow Tuesday night.
“The warm weather has put us on hold a little bit,” Sellars said.
“It’s definitely day by day, hour by hour,” A-Basin communications manager Adrienne Saia Isaac told the Daily. “Our snowmakers keep an eye on conditions. The next few days will be really telling.”
Both ski areas have yet to get groomers on the hill. They continue to blow snow into piles in preparation for groomers to start distributing the snow.
“I’m not sure when the cats will start getting out there,” Isaac said.
Both ski areas require an 18-inch base before opening to the public. Neither was able to report what their current bases were since they have yet to groom their slopes.
“It’s going to be a close one,” Isaac said of the race to open. “We’re all on notice, as soon as mountain ops say go.”
“We’ve got to get some snow made around the base,” Sellars said of Loveland. “We’ll have to wait and see what see what happens with this storm moving through.”
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